Recently, researchers discovered that an antivirul drug for AIDS can lead to insulin resistance that further results in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Nearly 25% of HIV patients have developed diabetes. The researchers are working on developing a new HIV drug that does not have insulin resistance.
The Government has reported above 56,000 cases of HIV and the death of more than 25 million of people due to AIDS.
Paul Hruz of the School of Medicine and his team carried out a research on mice that lacked the GLUT4 protein. When they injected ritonavir, the drug had no effect on their glucose tolerance. However, when ritonavir drug was injected into normal mice, it increased the glucose level in the blood. Therefore, the drugs promote insulin resistance and raises blood sugar levels that cause diabetes.
"What we saw were very acute effects on insulin sensitivity that we could reverse in the mice. But when insulin resistance goes on for a long time, secondary changes develop, such as high triglycerides, and those are harder to reverse", said Mr. Paul Hruz.
After examining the results, Hruz decided to develop new drugs that do not cause diabetes.